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June 10 2000

Maputo - Chiara Turrini’s Report from Mozambique

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We report a few selections from the June 7 report of Chiara Turrini, who has been in Mozambique for a few weeks to follow developments in the situation and to organise the assistance sent by the Community of Sant’Egidio.

We were at Calanga (a small village in the district of Manhiça, in the province of Maputo). It has approximately 12,000 inhabitants. It is a very isolated place, and it took us about 4 hours to get there (2 hours by rubber dinghy and 2 on a tractor) After the flood, the village became an island, surrounded by the Indian Ocean and the waters of the Incomati River. It is a zone that has already been hard hit by war. There are a few Sant'Egidio communities present and these have helped in this area which has been inaccessible to others.

We had many requests. There is need to rebuild houses and some building for common use (the old mission, where there is also the school, was semi-destroyed from the time of the war).

There is also a need for wells. From the time of floods, the people have been drinking river water.

Another need is that for a small maternity ward. The closest is a two-hour tractor trip. There are, however, serious bureaucratic obstacles that complicate the carrying out of these projects.

The road which linked 
Manhiça with Calanga


At Chokwè, where we visited the hospital of the Vincentian Sisters, the people have returned to the city. The situation is slightly better here than in other centres, The population, however was hard hit by the flood which arrived unexpectedly during the night. It had been predicted for Monday, 28/2 and instead it arrived on Saturday, 26/2.

From there we went to a locality that has only been accessible by helicopter for the last two weeks. It is called Chalucuáne (district of Chokwè). Here the Sisters have a rural hospital that serves about 80,000 people. The place has been isolated for so long because part of the road crumbled and became impassable because of the mud (this is a 60km long road which takes 2 hours to travel). Even here it would be necessary to build a clinic, especially a maternity ward.

We continue to examine the possibility of rebuilding, verifying the situations of other localities: at Chibuto, at Marracuene ( a district 30 minutes from Maputo) and in other surrounding areas."


The city of Chokwè,
200 km north west from Maputo,
completely submerged by the flood

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